Ex-Trump adviser says phone may have been tapped, without offering proof

14 days ago

Carter Page writes to congressional examiners to describe fear, which he suggests would support Donald Trumps claim Trump Tower was wiretapped

A former foreign policy consultant to Donald Trump has written to congressional examiners claiming, without evidence, that his mobile phone may have been tapped last year.

Carter Page, a businessman, suggests this would support the view that the Trump campaign headquarters at Trump Tower in New York was under surveillance, since he works nearby and was a frequent visitor there.

The president has asserted in a series of tweets that Trump Tower was wiretapped by Barack Obama just before the election but did not explain his basis for the allegation, eventually calling for the House and Senate intelligence committees to investigate.

Page, like Trump, has challenged US policy towards Russia and called for warmer relations between the two countries. He visited Moscow last July and December and has not denied gratifying the Russian ambassador to the US during last Julys Republican convention, where the Trump campaign successfully lobbied to fell anti-Russia language from the party platform.

In a letter addressed to Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chairman and vice-chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Page notes media reports that secret court orders were issued last October to allow the FBI to conduct surveillance of US persons in an investigation of possible contacts between Russian banks and the Trump Organization.

Having spoken in favor of some of Mr Trumps policies on other Fox News Group programs during the 2016 campaign as a campaign surrogate and given the peaceful relationship I have had with Russian citizens since my years in the US Navy, it may be understandable why I would be an related political target if such sick activities had indeed been committed as alleged in the previously cited media reports, he writes.

For your datum, I have frequently dined in Trump Grill, had lunch in Trump Caf, had coffee sessions in the Starbucks at Trump Tower, attended events and spend many hours in campaign headquarters on the fifth floor last year. As a sister skyscraper in Manhattan, my office at the IBM Building( 590 Madison Avenue) is literally connected to the Trump Tower building by an atrium.

Page continues: So if prior media reports may be believed that surveillance was indeed undertaken against me and other Trump advocates, it should be essentially deemed as a proved fact that the American people concerns that Trump Tower was under surveillance last year is entirely correct.

He says he keeps his cellphone on at all times except when flying, partly because of a a chronic medical condition that requires permanent access to a particular app.

In what is presumably a reference to the recent publication of documents by WikiLeaks demonstrating the CIA maintains the technical capability to hack customer devices, Page adds: All of this is particularly relevant following recent accusations surrounding surveillance techniques.

The Senate committee will examine Russias interference in the election, which intelligence agencies concluded was carried out to hurt Hillary Clintons campaign, and potential links between Russia and Trumps associates. The panel has asked about a dozen individuals and organisations, including the White House, to conserve relevant materials.

The FBI is also carrying out its own separate investigation. Trump has repeatedly denied any knowledge of improper contacts and the White House has complained about a fake narrative being recycled.

Page, an petroleum and energy industry consultant who has spent significant time in Russia, told the Guardian he would be more than happy to testify to the Senate committee. He admitted that he had no proof that his phone was put under surveillance but denied he was attempting to put up a smokescreen, turning his flame instead on the Clinton campaign.

My phone appears clean to me, he wrote in an email. More to the point and if they were indeed doing a J. Edgar Hoover-style political attack based on my faiths , nothing Ive ever written or said on it could be maybe construed as breaking any U.S. Law … as per the false proof and concocted allegations of the Lying Crooked Hillary campaign.

Over the past year the Trump campaign and administration have issued conflicting statements over its relationship with Page.

Adam Jentleson, senior strategic adviser at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has argued , referring to one of Pages trips to Moscow , the change to the RNC platform and the first batch of DNC emails from WikiLeaks : Two weeks in July 2016 prove why Page could be such an important piece of the puzzle.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

Bikers for Trump: ‘He’ll get my election because he’s off his goddamn rocker’

15 days ago

Ahead of the New Hampshire primary, Adam Gabbatt went to the Chop Shop Pub in Seabrook and found out that the locals dont mince words when asked why theyre rooting for The Donald

Theres a guy here whos not like us.

It is Super Bowl night at the Chop Shop Pub, a biker bar in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Bill The Boss Niland is addressing the crowd over a microphone. They call him the Boss because he is the boss of the bar.

He talks funny, Bill continues.

The clientele look at each other, wondering who this interloper could be. Im standing near the front. Im curious too. I look over my shoulder.

His names Adam, Bills says. He is talking about me. He calls up here and says: Do we have any bikers here?

This is true, I did.

Well, do we?

There are cheers and calls of: Yes!

The Boss drawn attention to me. Hes with the Guardian, he says. He has a thick New England accent and it definitely sounds like Gahhhhhdian.

I wave. There are a couple of cheers.

Im at the Chop Shop to mingle with some bikers ahead of Tuesdays primary. New Hampshire has the second most motorcycles per capita of all 50 nations, so I would be remiss not to expend some time with the biker demographic. The bar is a one-story house with a small fish pond in the entryway region. There are nine gnomes all over the pond and several goldfish in the pond. There is also a skull in it.

Outside

Bill Niland outside the Chop Shop Pub in Seabrook, New Hampshire. Photo: Kim Hebert for the Guardian

Introduction over, Bill puts the microphone down. The TV volume is turned up for the Super Bowl. A human with a long greys ponytail leans over.

Any politician who thinks weve got to be disarmed needs to be strung up and killed. Write that.

The humen name is Bobby King. Bobby has an interesting voting history. He usually votes for himself, as a write-in nominee. He is yet to win an election. There was a three-year period where someone else had his election, however.

And I voted for my daughter from when she was 10 to 13.

Bobby, 49, is at the bar with his girlfriend, Cherie. They have been dating for five years, although Bobby says it has been on and off. Cherie is noted in the biking community for her ability to fall asleep on the back of Bobbys motorcycle. It is a large motorcycle, an Ultra Classic.

Its the biggest Harley. Its like a fucking Winnebago. I think its got three bedrooms, two bathrooms, that kind of thing.

This election there is one candidate, Bobby says, who might convince him to extend his referendum beyond his immediate household. That candidate is Donald Trump.

Trump is the only one whos going to have my vote because hes off his goddamn rocker, Bobby says. Hes right, build a goddamn wall. Hes got the right ideas.

A big sandwich arrives and Bobby starts feeing it. I go to buy another drink because bottles of beer are$ 1 each before 6.30 pm and it is currently 6.29 pm. Lady Gaga has just finished singing The Star-Spangled Banner and video games is about to start. Everyone stood up for “the member states national” anthem, facing a US flag on the wall. There is another US flag on the ceiling, and US flag bunting draped along the bar.

Hank

Hank( far left ), Bill( centre left) and friends at the Chop Shop Pub. Photo: Kim Hebert for the Guardian
Things got a little hazy, later on.

I get chatting to a woman wearing a leopard-print scarf and grey leather boots. I ask her what her name is.

Its Cooky, she says. With a Y, because Im not a food.

Cooky, 65, explains her political faith. She likes Trump. She likes Trump because he will create jobs and safeguard our borders, hes gonna have good taxation scheme and hes self funding so nobody can buy him.

The other thing I believe Donald Trump would be good for is the veterans and Ive read up on him and he is very generous and has helped a lot of people.

But he doesnt boasting that about himself, Cooky adds, of a man who has spent the past week boasting about how he has helped veterans.

Cookys husband Paul likes Trump too. Everyone likes Trump here.

He has a big heart and at his age he realizes that were going in the wrong direction, Paul says. Paul is wearing a New England Patriots sweater. He depicts me a picture of his motorcycle, a Harley Electra Glide. Its a big motorcycle.

You press a button and the windshield goes up and down, Cooky says. The Electra Glide also comes equipped with a heated seat and heated handlebar grips. The pair like to blast music out of the Electra Glides speaker system as they ride. They like country music, but also the Cure and Depeche Mode.

We start talking about the Cure but my introduction from the Boss has built me quite popular, and a man called Rick Sargent is hovering. He is another Trump supporter, although he is concerned what might happen should the businessman become president.

If Trump gets in office I candidly think hell be assassinated, Rick says. He doesnt offer a great deal of proof for his theory but he certainly says it with conviction.

Political insiders are frightened shitless of someone like him get in there, Rick says, gravely. And accurately. He says he will vote for Trump in the primary, to send a message that something needs to change.

Its getting towards the end of the second quarter by this time and people have been buying me drinkings for some time. Its getting lively in the Chop Shop.

The Boss comes over and puts a plastic Viking helmet on my head. I have my picture taken with a former marine called Hank , noted for his bushy brown beard. A human called Timothy invites me to come back in the summer for a bar crawl. I construct three new Facebook friends.

I take the Viking hat off but am told only Bill can decide when someone can stop wearing the Viking hat. Theres a shop in the corner of the bar selling Chop Shop merchandise. A woman helps me try on a skull ring, which is far too big for what she describes as my little hands.

Im sitting on a stool, still wearing the Viking helmet, trying to describe the bars interior in handwriting that I will be able to read the next day when a man called Bubba simply Bubba comes over.

Its a really nice place, he says of the Chop Shop. Its like a big family.

Bubba is a Trump supporter: Hes bringing a point of view that isnt common in politics.

Also appealing is the concept that Trump is a businessman, hes not a career politician. Everyone likes that. Bubba says some other things too, but the generosity of the Chop Shop household is beginning to take its toll, and when I look back at my notes it looks like Ive been drawing pictures of a rough ocean.

I go looking for Bill and find him in a back office wearing a top hat. He offers no explain for the top hat. He says he is known for wearing it and I am about to ask why when my phone rings. Its a cab driver I called 20 minutes ago. Hes outside and hes angry that I am nowhere to be seen.

Bill bodyguards me out of the bar and I get in the taxi. Its only then I realise a) I never even asked Bill who he is going to vote for, and b) I didnt say goodbye to any of my new, Trump-supporting biker friends.

Oh, and c) at some phase I managed to shed the Viking hat.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

How will educational status affect the US election result?

16 days ago

White voters without a college degree partially make up Trumps support base, while Democrats increasingly rely on non-white voters and people with degrees

The longer an American has stayed in school, the more likely he or she is to register to vote and to cast a ballot on election day.

At one extreme, in the 2012 presidential election just 21.6% of adults who left school before ninth grade voted. At the other, according to statistics from the Census Bureau, 74.7% of adults who had an advanced degree voted. Though the precise numbers may not be known, observers are aware of the link between education and voting its one of the clearest correlations in political behavior research.

Educational

Its generally assumed that an education for those who are able to afford it improves civic engagement: that educated people feel they have a greater stake in society and feel it is worth their time to vote. In terms of shaping outcomes in 2016, though, its not just turnout that matters the way educational status tends to align with party inclination counts too.

Again, the results are pretty clear. The Democratic party is preferred by college graduates, even though as recently as 2002 that was not the case. Thats partly because non-white Americans now make up a larger share of the college population, and those voters are less likely to be Republican.

This election has been dominated by headlines about the non-college educated white Americans who form Republican nominee Donald Trumps support base. In 2012, about 55% of that demographic group showed up to vote, and 60% voted Republican.

Educational
Photograph: Pew Research Center

To understand how those people might affect this election, consider a few different hypothetical scenarios:

1. Non-college educated whites are no less likely to be Republican in 2016 and 100% of them show up to vote which, lets face it, would never happen. According to polling analysis site FiveThirtyEights calculations, Hillary Clinton would still narrowly win, by two percentage points.

2. Non-college educated white people are no more likely to vote, but 98% of those who do vote, vote for Trump which, again, is never going to happen. Trump would win by a landslide of 27%.

3. Now consider a more realistic final hypothesis. Non-college educated white people become a little more Republican and a little more likely to vote lets suggest that turnout rises to 65% from 55% and Republican vote share rises to 70% from 60%. Trump would win the White House with 52% of the national vote.

All of these scenarios, however, assume that nothing else has changed since 2012 that other educational groups like college graduates and other racial groups show up in the same numbers, with the same voting intentions, as they did four years ago. Clearly, that wont be the case. This election has repeatedly shown that no party can afford to rest on its laurels about whom it can count on to vote.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

The world comes to terms with President-elect Donald Trump

1 month, 1 day ago

London( CNN) If the world had had a election, polling indicated Hillary Clinton would be the American President-elect.

America voted, and the President-elect is Donald Trump.

A pillar of the alliance, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, summed up global reaction: “The result is different to what most people in Germany had hoped to see. But of course we are adopting it.”

Trump’s rise and Brexit vote are more an outcome of culture than economics

1 month, 3 days ago

Populists are tapping into the outrage of those who have been losing the cultural battles over race, gender and social identity in a globalised world

If Donald Trump loses the US election, will the tide of populism that threatened to overwhelm the world after the Brexit vote in June begin to wane? Or will the revolt against globalisation and immigration simply take another form?

The rise of protectionism and anti-immigrant sentiment in Britain, America, and Europe is widely believed to reflect stagnant incomes, widening inequality, structural unemployment, and even excessive monetary easing. But there are several reasons to question the link between populist politics and economic distress.

Most populist voters are neither poor nor unemployed; they are not victims of globalisation, immigration, and free trade. The main demographic groups behind the anti-establishment upsurge have been people outside the workforce: pensioners, middle-aged homemakers, and men with low educational qualifications receiving disability payments.

In Britain, where detailed analyses of the votes actually cast in the Brexit referendum are now available, the group most directly affected by low-wage competition from immigrants and Chinese imports people under 35 voted against Brexit by a wide margin, 65% to 35%. Meanwhile, 60% of pensioners who voted backed the leave campaign, as did 59% of voters with disabilities. By contrast, 53% of full-time workers who participated wanted Britain to remain in Europe, as did 51% of part-time workers.

The British data suggest that cultural and ethnic attitudes, not direct economic motivations, are the real distinguishing features of anti-globalisation voting. Asked whether social liberalism is a force for good or a force for ill, 87% of remain voters said it was a force for good, while 53% of Leave voters called liberalism a force for ill. On multiculturalism, the difference was even starker 65% of leave voters were against it, while 86% of remainers approved. Another analysis published by the BBC after the referendum found one of the strongest predictors of a leave vote to be support for capital punishment.

In America, polls suggest that gender is an even more important indicator of support for Trump than age or education. Early this month, when Trump was only a few points behind Clinton in overall support, a Washington Post/ABC poll compared voting intentions with the 2012 election. It found not only that white men backed Trump by a margin of 40 percentage points, but also that their support for Trump was 13 points higher that it was for Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee.

White women, by contrast, marginally supported Clinton and had swung by 15 percentage points against the Republicans. Among voters without a college education, the gender difference was even starker: less-educated white men favored Trump by a 60% margin and had swung in favor of the Republicans by 28 percentage points, while women had swung by 10 percentage points in the opposite direction and only marginally supported Trump.

It seems, therefore, that the conflicts generally ascribed to economic grievances and globalisation are actually the latest battles in the culture wars that have split western societies since the late 1960s. The main relevance of economics is that the 2008 financial crisis created conditions for a political backlash by older, more conservative voters, who have been losing the cultural battles over race, gender, and social identity.

The dominance of free-market ideology before the crisis allowed many controversial social changes, ranging from income inequality and intensified wage competition to greater gender equality and affirmative action, to go almost unchallenged. Progressive social liberalism and conservative free-market economics seemed to be two sides of the same coin. But when free-market economic liberalism failed in the 2008 crisis, political challenges to social liberalism could no longer be deflected by invoking impersonal economic laws.

But if social change can no longer be legitimised as the necessary condition for economic progress, it seems unlikely that democracies will now vote to reinstate the social conditions before the ascendancy of economic liberalism and globalisation. Racial and gender equality are now backed by clear majorities in the US, Britain, and most European countries, and even apparently popular policies such as trade protectionism and strict immigration controls rarely muster more than 30-40% support in opinion surveys. Why, then, did Brexit win, and why is it still possible that Donald Trump will be the next US President?

Both Brexit and Trump were powered by an unstable alliance between two very different, even contradictory, movements. The bulk of their supporters were indeed social conservatives and protectionists who wanted to undo the social changes that began in the late 1960s.

Two of the most effective slogans of the Brexit and Trump campaigns have been Take back control and I want my country back. But the social conservatives inspired by such atavistic and authoritarian sentiments do not make up majorities in any western country. On its own, social conservatism could never mobilise more than 30-40% of voters. To achieve majorities, the socially conservative protectionists had to unite with the remnants of the Thatcher-Reagan laissez faire movement, who resent the interventionist economic management of the post-2008 period and want to intensify the competition, deregulation, and globalisation that social conservatives resent.

This unstable political compound is now dissolving in the US, and also in Britain, where prime minister Theresa Mays government is divided between ideological nationalists and economic liberals. If the US election on 8 November confirms Trumps failure to bind social conservatives and economic liberals into a winning coalition, similar disintegration is likely among European populists, too.

In that case, the Brexit vote will begin to look like an aberration not the start of a powerful new trend toward nationalism, protectionism, and de-globalisation, but the end of a backlash against modernity by an unstable alliance of social authoritarians and laissez faire market liberals. It will be the last gasp of an ageing generation that tried to impose its nostalgic parochialism on an increasingly cosmopolitan younger generation, but succeeded in only one unfortunate country.

  • Anatole Kaletsky is chief economist and co-chair of Gavekal Dragonomics. A former columnist at the Times, the International New York Times and the Financial Times, he is the author of Capitalism 4.0, The Birth of a New Economy.

Project Syndicate

Read more: www.theguardian.com

19 Ordinary People Tell Their Tales Of Meeting Donald Trump That Might Actually Surprise You

1 month, 3 days ago

What is Donald Trump like in real life? Is he a total asshole, as some people he has depicted? Or does he have a nicer side? Here are some tales from people who claim to have met The Donald in real life. We have no way to verify the precision of these tales take them with a grain of salt.

1 . Literally ran into him

I bumped into him on the street in 2014. I was looking at my watch and ran into him by collision as he was get out of his auto in front of his building. I apologized, he said it was quite all right, and we ran our separate routes. It was very civil, all things considered.

2 . He carries a lot of change

Donald Trump came into the movie theatre I used to work at, and I served him at the concession stand. He asked about the flavors of our Slushies, the latter are White Cherry and Cotton Candy. He got the Cotton Candy. Donald Trump enjoys cotton candy…and I literally know that for a fact forever now. He also paid in exact change.

3 . Just a high-five

He constructed a golf course in a rich neighboring town a few years ago, and around the time it opened my grandparents and I were on a walk there( it was built on a sea cliff, popular hiking spot before it was constructed, still is though) and Trump was riding by on a golf cart. He high-fived my granny. No terms were exchanged.

4 .Trump sure does like fast food

Back in darker days I worked for a Chick-Fil-A in California. I was running the drive through and took an order from an obvious chauffeur driving a one of those black livery sedans.

When he pulled up to the window, he handed me exact change, then pulled forward a bit when I went to hand the food through. Mr. Trump lowered the back window, took the food, and said,” Thanks very much .” before they rolled away. I was pretty surprised.

5 . He thanked us for the food

Trump owns a golf resort in Scotland not far from my home, and he was speaking at a chambers of commerce fulfilling a couple of years ago, catered by students of the local cookery college, of which I was one- we did little canapes and nibbles , nothing major, but he popped in and thanked us for our efforts and said he enjoyed the food, which was nice of him.

6 . He let her touch his hair

I assured him speak at an ICSC NYC convention, the only thing I remember is there was a q& a part, some 20 something girl asks if his hair was real, and he says it was and then asks the girl to come on stage and feel it. So Trump had a younger women scratching his head in front of~ 200 real estate professionals.

7 . Helped Trump lose a bet

My mom was on a design team when he was building one of his many golf courses like 15 years ago, so she saw him every day. He and melania hadn’t married yet but they were also in the midst of designing a new estate he had just bought. Tiffany was little and always came into the office with them but she was basically glued to melania’s hip. They were really close. I was also small but sometimes if I came into the office to visit my mom Tiffany and I would play but I don’t remember what she was like.

Apparently trump was a really decent guy. He once turned to my mom and said ” you’re a designer ..” and requested information about if their kitchen was in a Tudor mansion, what kind of cabinets should they have. My mom was like” oh plainly cherry” and melania turned to trump and said ” HA !” And he was like” alright okay you win”

My mom says back then he was pleasant and professional.

I also think it’s interesting to add that my mommy also swears that he was planning his run for chairman all the way back then and she overheard them all the time casually mentioning it.

8 . Took pictures with our party

He showed up at my cousin’s sweet 16 party approximately 7 or 8 years ago. It was at a ballroom at a golf club he owned. He strolled in, and took images with us for maybe 10 minutes. I doubt he actually needed to do any of that. Seemed like a pleasant enough guy.

9 . Weird, but not evil?

I never talked to him, but I was at a party he attended about 18 months ago. He wasn’t rude at all, just odd. He told a tale about how Bill Gates once told a room of people that he( Donald) was really smart and had good notions. It felt weirdly self-conscious on his part.

I also met his helicopter pilots, who said that he was a nice guy, always constructing sure the latter are taken care of, had eaten, etc. The pilots said the megadouche was his son, Eric.

10 . More reserved than bombastic

Did work for one of his golf courses in California. He signed a bunch of shirts that said ” You’re Fired!- The Donald” on it.

He actually seemed pretty reserved and easy going. Definitely not the persona he portrayed while operating for president.

11 . Told me to get rich

When I was a kid I was friends with a, I recur wealthy child. We went to the same boxing gym. He was the son of someone very important in California, probably an petroleum mogul or something.

One day we where invited to a barbecue to celebrate his birthday, and arriving there his papa take us on a tour of the giant home, and introduces us to all the other guests who where his friends.

One of those guests was Mr. Donald Trump.

I shook his hand and he said ” Ow, that’s a pretty solid handshake .” I said thanks and he asked me if I happened to be Samoan, because I was pretty strong for a 14 year old. I said my family was from New Zealand, and thus was of Maori descent. He said ” That’s nice, I always wanted to go to New Zealand .”

Then he told us to study hard and work hard so we all could live in big houses like our hosts when we grew up.

Then he went back to talking to the other people.

12 . Candidate Trump didn’t seem like Boss Trump

I worked at one of his golf course for three years as a valet and i also upkept the practice facilities( including driving around the ball picker upper ).

Every time i dealt with Big Donald he was more than respectful. Also we had an Mexican guy who cleaned carts, Felip who he personally housing for out of his own pocket because he supposed Felip was such a good worker and valuable asset to the course( which he was, the guy was such a nice guy and a crazy good worker ). All in all, I had a polar opposite position of who Donald Trump was prior to this election cycle.

13 . He said ” hello”

I’ve played golf at one of his courses in Florida a few times he’s usually there having lunch with his typical group. When they finish he makes a point to walk around to all of the tables shake hands and say hello. Always very nice. Since he didn’t make a fortune in tech I imagine he has gotten to where he is by being pretty charismatic.

14 . I worked for him during the election

Worked at one of his golf courses recently for a few months. He would come fairly often especially once the election began, as it was a good way to keep some privacy. Meet him a few times during my period there but the one I recollect most was when I had to bring food to his bungalow. Went through secret service checking me and I knock on his doorway. Didn’t answer so I knock again. Didn’t answer so I tried one more time.

He opens the door and the conversation runs like this.” I have your pasta primavera sir ” ” Not for me, what is it again ?”” Pasta primavera”, while looking at it” Yeah not for me, sorry” and closed the door. Turned out it was for his speech novelist for the convention who was in a room next door. Another hour I watched him watch himself giving on interview on NBC in the men’s sofa and his reactions were interesting. Have a few more narratives about the man but overall from what I find he was a great guy.

ALSO: There was the time we all pretty much knew pence would be the vp as the families expended the weekend together. Another period that comes to intellect with him was when I helped serve Ivanka’s table with trump was by and he asked me about the kosher wings but I didn’t say anything as it was my first time to address it but my director was there so he had my back and answered the questions he had.

15 . Best memory of a celeb

When I was 13, I was invited to a friend’s Bar Mitzvah, and the party was at the clubhouse of one of Trump’s golf courses.

He was actually there a bit during the cocktail party, checking on the parent education the Bar Mitzvah son to make sure everything was up to snuff for them. Shook a lot of people’s hands, said hello to everyone, honestly my best memory of a celebrity.

16 . He simply sat next to me

I was in NYC visiting household when I took a walk through central park and I sat down at a bench with a couple sodas. I’m relaxing with some music admiring all the good times people are having and I feel someone sit down next to me exhaling a little hard, like they just took a really long stroll or something. I turn and it’s actually the Don. He asks if he could have a Coke because he was kinda thirsty so I devoted him one of mine.

We talk for like, 2-3 minutes when a guy comes up behind him and whispers something in his ear and he says he has to go and hands me a 20 and told me something like” If you need something, don’t be afraid to leap at an opportunity “. The whole hour I’m just kinda sitting there starstruck like what just happened.

Everybody was turning their heads when he walked to his automobile with the other guy and a few were looking at me like I was a somebody and I’m just sitting there confused about everything.

He seemed like a reserved guy, fairly shivering and he had a love for that park because he talked about how he took his children there a lot when they were younger.

17 . He likes compliments to his hotel

A couple of years ago I went to a conference in Las Vegas. My company set me up at Trump Hotel. Because my company is cheap and the hotel is technically off the strip I was sure the hotel would be second rate. I was impressed with the rooms and lobby, the quality of drinks and the free entertainment in the lounge.

As I was passing near the elevators I considered a few tall men standing around in suits warily eyeing passersby. I stopped to survey the situation and abruptly realise Donald Trump was right next to me. I said to him with honesty:” Beautiful hotel you have here, Mr. Trump .”

He responded by taking a step closer and widening his hand. I shook it and he seemed me in the face and said:” Thank you. That’s why we built it. We want people to come to Las Vegas, have a nice hour, and stay in a nice hotel .” He gave me a smile and turned to take images and chats with the growing crowd.

He seemed very genuine and pleasant. 10/10

18 . Paid off my home?

He paid off a guys mortgage my daddy works with( mechanic bus line in city) because he offered to work on a broken limo in the dale, he didn’t know it was trump’s.

The driver asked guy to slip in his license through window fissure, the guy scanned it and a few weeks later guessing nothing of it only being a nice guy, banker be coming back garage and says Mr. Trump simply paid off your home … thanks for helping him in the limo.

19 . He never wanted to be the center of attention

I went to school with his daughter Tiffany so I had a few interactions with the Donald and all were positive. The one anecdote that I’ll share is from the school plays. Tiffany was involved in the school theatre program and so was my brother so I was usually helping out as an usher for the plays. Donald attended all the plays that were put on despite living in different regions of the country from our school in LA.

The thing that was most impressive was how here arrived to the plays, he was always late, simply 1 minute late. He’d arrive and take his seat in the rear just after the house lights went down so he didn’t describe any attention away from the children. He’d slip out as softly as he’d arrived, when he was at the school his focus was 100% on his daughter and not himself. Despite living in a pretty solid liberal area most people from that school admit that’s it kind of hard to square our experiences with him up with the media’s portraying of him as a brash, egotistical idiot.

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Rand Paul celebrates Festivus with ‘airing of grievances’ against 2016 rivals

1 month, 9 days ago

Kentucky senator and presidential hopeful turns to Seinfeld-inspired tradition to vent about Donald Trumps Yiddish and Marco Rubios absenteeism

As families across the US come together in joy two days before Christmas, Rand Paul has chosen instead to tweet out his annual list of Festivus Grievances. As the Kentucky senator explained last year, thats what Festivus is for.

Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2014

Christmas is a time for joy. For sharing blessings w/family & friends. It is not a time to air grievances. That’s what #Festivus is for.

The presidential candidate is celebrating the season, as is his tradition, with a cathartic venting of feelings on social media under the hashtag #Festivus, which references the fictional holiday popularised by the sitcom Seinfeld.

But now that Paul is running for president, he is taking special care to direct his grievances against his GOP opponents.

Where to start but @realDonaldTrump, Paul began. If u bring the Yiddish, know what it means. Guess thats more of a kvetch than a grievance.

He hit the real estate mogul with allegations of attempted sartorial bribery. After the debates, @realDonaldTrump always trying to give us parting gifts of his made in China ties. Weird.

Next, fellow Senator Ted Cruz came under Pauls Festivus fire, with a thinly veiled reference to birther-truthism over Cruzs Canadian roots:

Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2015

My friend @tedcruz has still not pledged to issue exec order declaring Canadian “bacon” is not real bacon. Makes me suspicious. #Festivus

Paul hit out at each of his rivals in turn: at Carson for his mumbling, at Christie for his support of the Dallas Cowboys, at Jeb Bush for his awkwardness. Paul even hit out at Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, for toilet breaks and socialism respectively.

Florida senator Marco Rubio came under particular fire, for his low turnout record in the Senate while hes been campaigning:

Dr. Rand Paul (@RandPaul) December 23, 2015

to my absentee friend @marcorubio, I didn’t put your $170k+ salary in my waste report today. But I could have #Festivus

In the spirit of the season, Paul also released his Waste Reports Airing Of Grievances: Festivus 2015, a report from the Senate homeland security and governance subcommittee on federal spending, which Paul chairs.

Happy Festivus! the report begins. Once again, the federal government found new and inventive ways to waste the tax dollars of hard-working Americans this year.

The report, which claims to have identified $1,026,957,650 in wasteful spending, took the government to task for more than 30 programs it considered frivolous, including paying for a community college to develop a curriculum of winemaking studies (an $853,000 grant to Washington community colleges, according to the report) and federal agencies spending money on yoga instructors for employees.

The report also slammed the Pentagon for spending $43m on a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station in Afghanistan.

Read more: www.theguardian.com

WATCH: Chris Matthews pins Trump’s Jerusalem decision on ‘crazy’ Alabama Christians

1 month, 10 days ago

President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. embassy to that city has MSNBC’s Chris Matthews losing his mind again:

Read more:

Tulane frat builds pro-Trump wall, receives backlash from students

1 month, 12 days ago

Donald Trump said he wanted a wall and now he’s got one.

The Kappa Alpha Order at Tulane University upheld an annual tradition of building a sandbag wall around its fraternity home. But this year students added a political touch by tagging the wall with Make America Great Again and Trump in huge, spray-painted letters.

Dillon Prez/ Facebook

A photo circulating Facebook and Redditshows typical college dudes in typical frat garb( i.e. shirtless, ball caps, etc .) posing in front of their house to show off something that surely their pledges should take the real credit for.

In a statement emailed to the Daily Dot, a Tulane spokesperson was of the view that the Trump tie-in was intended to satirize his campaign slogan ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

Every spring the Kappa Alpha( KA) fraternity erects a wall around its chapter home, which is on private property. The the leading role of KA’s local chapter says that adding Donald Trump’s name and slogan to this year’s wall was done in order to satirize the candidate’s campaign promise , not to present support for him. The wall has all along dismantled .

But the student body was apparently not in on the joke.

Campus Latino communities in particular instantly took to social media to express their annoyance. Tulane Jewish surveys student Dillon Prez posted this message out to his peers and groups on Facebook and included photographs of the brotherhood home ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

…hey built a wall fitted with connotations of loathe and ignorance, immediately mocking the experiences of Latino immigrants and workers throughout our nation. By writing “TRUMP” in big, red letters across their wall, KA changed what was a tradition of constructing a wall into a tradition of constructing a border, symbolizing separation and xenophobia. This issue not only affects Latinos but all other marginalized immigrant groups in this country .

The wall had stood since Thursday, having been consecutively built and taken down.

Kappa Alpha does this tradition every year to guard the Confederate flag that the chapter is not allowed to display in public. But the brothers have never used it to make a direct political statement.

Concerned students began reaching out to Prez as the student leader of Making Excellence Now and Tomorrow in Education( GENTE ,) a group dedicated to building campus more welcoming for “Latinos, Hispanics, and Iberian descendants.”

“This is the first time anything has been written on this wall targeting students. Understanding the ramifications, it stimulates us feel entirely unwelcome and unsafe on this campus, ” Prez told the Daily Dot.

Dillon Prez/ Facebook

Shortly after the wall was erected, a videosince removed by the userbegan circulating indicating a group of young men, allegedly Tulane football players, taking the wall down. Prez said this is how some students have been responding to the statement.

After GENTE’s meeting Monday night, students took to Facebook to uncover the the wall, hoping it would go viral to raise awareness about the many race-related issues students work against at Tulane. Just two weeks ago, GENTE met with Kappa Alpha to address the racial implications behind its annual Old South event, where the chapter commemorates Robert E. Lee, among other Confederate traditions.

“We want answers to why those havent been addressed and create a better dialogue and create the positive developments, ” Prez said. “Millions “of migrants ” built this city, built this campus, and rebuilt the walls of the streets where put up this wall and are still not going anywhere.”

Kappa Alpha did not respond to a request for comment.

Read more:

Trump’s UK visit dishonors Theresa May. The protests must be huge | Matthew d’Ancona

1 month, 13 days ago

The chairmen brutality in dividing immigrant children from their families should not be forgotten when he arrives, says Guardian columnist Matthew dAncona

This is the week of Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia and her daughter. You will probably not have heard of them, and your mind may be on other things right now- the World Cup, avoiding heatstroke, Wimbledon, Brexit. But do search for them online, and watch Gonzalez-Garcia, a 31 -year-old Guatemalan refugee from domestic violence, being reunited at Boston’s Logan airport with the eight-year-old, 55 days after they were separated without explain at an Arizona detention centre.

She was told at the time by immigration officers that she would” never see” her daughter again. Indeed, that vicious prediction might have come true, had her suit not been taken up by the American Civil Liberties Union and two law firms. The footage of the reunion is hard to watch: it builds you feel a strange combining of relief, fury and species dishonor.” Forgive me, my darling, for leaving you alone ,” she says to her daughter as they clutch one another.” Forgive me. I didn’t want to .”

When Donald Trump arrives in Britain on Thursday, recollect those words and his responsibility for the abject pain that underpins them. There are still about 3,000 immigrant children separated from their families because of this man’s lazy wickedness. Remember those words when he is being flattered by ministers in black tie at Blenheim Palace, or when he is at Chequers, or Windsor Castle to meet the Queen.

Shame on the prime minister for permitting this trip to go ahead. The shaky pragmatic case for welcoming the US president to these coasts evaporated last August, when he insisted that there were” very fine people” among the neo-Nazis at Charlottesville. At that moment he departed overtly from one of the founding principles of the modern liberal democratic order: namely that nazism was, and still is, a uniquely awful ideology. This is a supranational orthodoxy. Trump’s unembarrassed deviation from it required a meaningful sanction. Yes, I know that many repellent dictators and dictators have paid official visits to this country: we hold our collective nose, proceed with protocol, and hope that the national interest will be served by pragmatism, rather than principle.

CNN (@ CNN)

Watch Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia and her 8-year-old daughter reunite at Boston’s Logan Airport in a CNN exclusive report. Gonzalez-Garcia and her child were separated in Arizona for 55 days after fleeing Guatemala for the US, quoting domestic violence at home https :// t.co/ H6wqeX6Yau pic.twitter.com/ 1cbmXk0JrQ

July 5, 2018

But it is precisely because of the UK’s close relationship with the US, our partnership in the preservation of liberal democracy, that higher criteria apply. I am a committed Atlanticist- more so, perhaps, than many Guardian readers. But it is because of those notions that I think Trump should not have been rewarded with this visit.

But he is. During the presidential journey, the diplomatic runes will be read, the tea leaves scoured, the statements parsed for a sense of his plans. He will pledge fulsome is supportive of Brexit, promise a trade deal with Britain( probably a” big and beautiful” one ), reassure the PM that his commitment to Nato is unsullied by his insistence that its members” start paying your bills “. Everything he says is likely to be micro-analysed. But why treat the finger-painting of a truculent toddler “as if its” a Picasso? It’s just possible that Trump will mean what he says when he says it. But don’t count on anything beyond that. This is a man who can change his intellect between the first and 140 th character of a tweet. Caprice has no lifespan.

More important than what Trump says is what Britain says back to him. And the most significant component in that collective answer will be the series of rallies and demonstrations planned for the four-day visit. It is of the highest importance that these processions are both populous and peaceful. Nobody can predict how many will turn out to protest in cities across the UK- the centrepiece being “the member states national” Together Against Trump marching and rally in London on Friday afternoon. But set it this way: I would be surprised if they were sparsely attended.

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‘Fragile, like the president’s ego’: Trump Baby blimp prepares for takeoff

All the more reason, then, to think about the manner in which they are conducted. There has long been a propensity on the far left to romanticise what EP Thompson called ” the moral economy of the English crowd” and to see this as a blank cheque for disorder. More recently, a new and pernicious creed has taken hold- that unacceptable or “problematic” speech constitutes a form of violence and a justification for the pre-emptive use of force. I can imagine this axiom being used by British Antifa protesters as an excuse for pointless exhibitions of force this week.

Strength, dignity and wit: these should be the hallmarks of the protests. The Trump baby blimp is both magnificently British in its surreal scale and perfect for a president who, unlike Barack Obama and George W Bush, absence any sense of self-irony. London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, who has traversed swords with the president more than once, deserves our thanks for allowing Hairpiece One to drift over the capital.

Remember, too, that Trump is primarily concerned with showbusiness and ratings. That is how he won the White House, and why he was so particularly furious that more people attended Obama’s first inauguration than his own. He is a product of, and preoccupied by, sight. So nothing would delight him more than for this week’s protests to degenerate into violence. Such images would support his claim that Britain is a crime-infested nation on the brink of social breakdown. In contrast, a huge rally, proud, peaceful and strong, through the world’s greatest city would send a powerful signal that, whatever the British prime minister may do, Britons do not kowtow to this terrible man, or accept his brutal populism.

I am reminded of the late Paul Monette’s instruction:” Go without hate, but not without rage. Heal the world .” That is a good maxim for life. And especially so in the next few days. Remember: this is the week of Angelica Gonzalez-Garcia and her daughter.

* Matthew d’Ancona is a Guardian columnist

* Join our Guardian Live event at the Greenwood Theatre in London on 9 July, as Guardian columnists Owen Jones and Jonathan Freedland, Stella Creasy MP, American comedian Desiree Burch, Republican commentator Jan Halper-Hayes, and Anywhere But Washington’s Paul Lewis will debate Donald Trump’s impending UK visit

Read more: www.theguardian.com

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